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Autumnal - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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AutumnalAutumnal

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BA SCORE
85
very good

242 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 242
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 10.61%
Wants: 10
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: timtim on 10-12-2010

This deep amber hued ale takes it’s inspiration from Germany while still nodding to the Belgian farmhouse tradition. The base is comprised of German two-row, wheat, Cara-Munich, and roasted barley. Generously hopped with a blend of Perle, Spalt, and Hallertau Mittelfrüh and fermented with a rustic Belgian farmhouse ale yeast. These elements together provide a melange of earth and fruit aromas backed with hints of caramel with a dry clean finish.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 242 | Reviews: 106
Reviews by Atyoungberg:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sessions last night.Poured nto a stemmed glass a somewhat murky russet/amber with a nicely formed light brown head atop.A decent amount of funky yeastiness with some phenolic-like spice as well.Not as funky on the palate with spiced notes and mild tartness,an odd dairy almost cheese-like flavor I got in the after taste wich is something I have never encountered I gotta say.It's funky but not to the heights I was expecting,it's good and a bit odd.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Autumnal by Stillwater Artisanal ale in the Farmhouse stye, 7.2% alcohol content.

A- Pours a soda colored fluid that shows light brown in sun light. Produces a heavy off white head that leaves massive lacing on the glass.

S- Rich chocolate malts and sharp yeasty bite upfront on the nose, mild funk in the back.

T-M- Taste upfront is of dark fruits mostly plums and raisins. Mild and light farmhouse funk come to in the backbone with hay and wet blanket. Mouthfeel is watery and leaves nothing to roll it over smoothly.

All and all ok. Its drinkable with a no frills design but malt is its go to point.

Photo of weatherdog
2.86/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750mL bottle poured into a Leinenkugels Big Eddy snifter

It pours a deep brown, nearing chestnut with a billowing tan head, the head dies down into a scattered layer of bubbles along the surface of the beer, no lacing on the sides of the glass.

The nose is really malty for a saison. I'm getting a hint of oxidation as well. Not much signature spice but a little roast is in there. I'm just not loving the mash up of a brown ale and saison they seem to be headed in.

The taste is even more malty brown ale-like with a bit of bitterness present. There seems to be a lack of a good saison/farmhouse character and the yeast have lent a more fruity ester profile akin to a warm fermented homebrew. I'm just not a fan of a the mildly roasted/ malty brown ale with some fruity esters. I've had much better dark saisons.

The body is teetering on the medium heavy side which doesn't compliment the intended style although carbonation is on the high side which is expected. It's just not very drinkable to me as the estery flavor is too distracting from what the beer should be. I'm sadly disappointed in my first beer from this brewery. A brewery of which I've heard really good things from.

Photo of Billolick
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large bottle from Decicco's in Ardsley, NY, no freshness info offered.

Pours murky darker brown, the head is loose, light mocha and while initially huge,fairly quickly departing. Thin collar and some fine lacing left on the glass.

Sniff reveals some tea and Belgian like yeasty notes.

More tea, caramel malts, ripe fruit on the tongue. Some peppery spicing...not sure what to make of this one, another different and interesting/odd ball sort of saison from Stillwater. Worth a try, quality American take on a much loved Belgian style brew, through a German filter...go figure

Photo of Libationguy
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy copper color with amber hues. Off-white 2-finger head with medium+ retention. Carbonation is aggressive.

Toasted malt, coriander, semi-dried black fruits, orange peel, vanilla and nugat.

Dates, coriander, citrus zest, mocha, marzipan, nugat and lightly caramelized malt.

Medium+ bodied with a clean feel to the palate. Slight bitterness in the finish is helping to keep everything clean. Beer is over carbonated though.

Interesting beer with a lot of this happening. Would like to see an easing in the beers carbonation though.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer has a clear dense brown body with an orange glow at the base and a strong carbonation of microbubbles gliding up the side of the glass. There is a light oatmeal colored head that is creamy and sticks to the glass in sheets with each sip.

S- The earthy pale malt notes have a hint of cream and some wheat bread notes to follow. There is a rusty but no metallic aroma that comes through in the finish aswell.

T- The tart note that starts off has a grain and flinty quality to it with some dry toasted malt flavors coming through. There is a soft saison yeast hint in the finish which is very dry aswell. There is a brassy phenolic plastic flavor that blends with a spicy/tangy hop quality in the finish that grows to get in the way of other flavors.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight crisp fizz and no real alcohol heat noticed.

D- The tartness increases a bit to much and the rest of the flavors become a bit to muted and it starts to taste like bad breath. The tart and hop characters really don't work together in this beer and it is a bit of a mess.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep, dark, mahogany color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved into a halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Not very aromatic at all, but I do get some notes of toasted malt, a touch of nuttiness, some brown sugar and a touch of barnyard-y hay, straw and wet blanket

Taste: Very nice flavors of toasted malt up front, imparting notes of biscuits or crackers, flowed by some dried stone fruit, such as resins, apricots, or dates, some brown sugar-like sweetness, a touch of Belgian yeast which imparted some earthy notes of leather and tobacco, finished with a touch of sour cherry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 7.2%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Wow! This is another great beer by Stillwater. I’m really, really impressed with this brewer!

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another of their unique "saisons". Dark brown colour, tastes like a Belgian, a dunkel unfiltered. Brown sugar. Good drinkability. Above average mouthfeel.Saison aroma.Some wood,caramel,white pepper, and European hops right there. Thanks Michael P.

Photo of russpowell
3.44/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent caramel with 3+ fingers of khaki head. Slightly murky, great lacing, average head retention

S: Jammy, pears,the nose fades as this warms.

T: Pears, slight date flavors, some herbal hops & green appleskins up front. Leafy hops, more appleskins, some white grape & jammy notes as this warms, some boozeyness & maybe a touch of chardonnay. Finishes dry, fruitty, & a bit jammy

MF: Light bodied, slight carbonation

This didn't wow me as much as some other offerings from these guys. Not bad, glad I got to try it...

Photo of EORS
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a sample of this during beer week and bought a bottle home to try. Poured into a highball glass.

Appearance: Medium brown with a billowy head and medium carbonation. Head retains well and laces down the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel and raisin on the nose, with some mustiness.

Taste: Tanginess from the yeast balances the mellow, sweet malty flavor of the beer. The Belgian yeast is a great way to add a bit of balance to the beer.

Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation with a crisp finish.

Overall: Brewer described this to me as an altbier brewed with Belgian yeast, and it's a great take for that. All the flavor of an alt without the syrupiness or overly sweet character that some American interpretations of alt have. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of GRG1313
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper with an off-white firm head.

Nose has sum "saison toast" character. Smells like a traditional saison with with a hit of toasty and malty hops and fruity character.

Mouthfeel is clean, crisp and inviting, albeit thin.

Flavors are "herbal-grassy saison" with a dose of light coffee and peaches. Not real "saison like" but pleasing. Flavors are light fruity citric coffee that goes to a bit bitter green character that goes to a more traditional green herb, celery salt white pepper and green pepper/celery character.

Finish is "green" and a bit funky with a bitter pepper finish. Drinkable even though it's a bit schizophrenic.

Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750. Solid amber pour, a long lingering off white head.

Aroma, yeasty and tart fruit. Little caramel, malt and mustyness.

Taste, a faint tart quickly gives way to caramel, some yeasty spice. Some green-ness to it. A faint toast and cocoa, then earth. Finish is nice.

Light side of mid bodied, good carbonation. Drinks easy.

They are doing some interesting things with Saison variations down at Stillwater. Would like to see more follow suit.

Photo of akorsak
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750 mL bottle from The Wine Source.

A: A saison sombre. Dark caramel colors, brown and orange-red shades throughout; definitely not noire. Autumnal indeed, with the look of a warming cooler-weather brew. Several fingers of head, at least two, filled up my tulip quickly, leaving only a few ounces of beer in the glass. No lacing to report though.

S: A yeasty aroma, mild fruits and a powdery presence. Pears and apples, along with black pepper, sit atop darker malts that are bready with caramel.

T: Darker malts, strong with bready notes, start the ale off, a mildly-roasted flavor. Belgian flavors, soft at first, get more confident with each sip, releasing darker candi sugars and pale fruits. A dash of black pepper, thank you very much yeast, breaks up the malt-fest nicely. Fruity and spicy but quite bready.

M: The mouthfeel runs rampant, bready to spicy to bready all in one sip. It's a Belgian-style fest beer that packs enough spice to keep me interested.

D: As novel as it is, it has the distinction of being my least favorite Stillwater offering. That's no slam, it's just up against heady competition.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Served in a tulip glass, the beer pours a hazy amber/brown color with about an inch and a half off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. Aroma is sweet spices, caramel malt, dark fruit and some grain/bready malt. Taste is similar to the aroma, with the addition of some earthy hops, peppery spice and yeast. Mouthfeel/body is medium, and it has a lot of carbonation, a bit too much for me. Drinkability is decent, it's not a hard brew to drink at all. I don't think this is quite as good overall as the other Stillwater brews I've tried so far, but I do like this beer and would try it again in the future.

Photo of SickGnar
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Russet brown, rich amber when held to light, clear with many, many streams of fine bubbles rising to a billowy & creamy light khaki head. Great retention & really good lacing. Second pour yields a firm dose of cloudiness. More of a murky chestnut brown.

S: Caramelly sweetness & bread crust malts with a backbone that is nutty & biscuity. Herbal, leafy, & grassy hops in a laidback rather than forward manner. Good bit of dark fruit. Hint of peppery spice. A bit malty & sweet for stated style but fair strength and nicely pleasant.

T: Herbal, leafy, grassy, & almost vegetal hops fight it out in the open with lots of caramel sweetness. Again, hops are strong but relaxed. More flavor and character than bitter. Dark bread crust and toasty / nutty malts weigh in on the side of sweetness. Some yeasty phenols show up in the middle. Approaching the end some dark fruit emerges & then a bit of roast. Hint of peppery spice. Finish is roast & a touch of hoppy resin/earth.

M: A bit under medium body with carbonation quite strongly balanced yet very finely textured & soft feeling. Smooth but too well attenuated to be creamy. Flash of sweetness at the open and then it is drying from herbal & earthy notes with a touch of soft astringency and a bit of spice. Firm but not aggressive. Ghost hint of alcohol warmth way back in the throat.

D: A big Alt with a touch of Belgian flair more than a dark saison. Just not spicy & earthy enough. Could also be more dry / less sweet. Too malt focused for a saison. Not even a hint of tart and/or funk. A bit too oddly herbal. Still it is tasty and it really grows on you. Nice and interesting. 4/7 Sticke, 2/7 dubbel, 1/7 saison. Something like that.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium dark hazy brown color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of caramel malt with balance sweetness is quite interesting. Taste is a nice mix between some caramel malt with light residual sugar notes and some light fruity ester. Boyd is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed with easily drinkable characteristics thought lacking a little bit of complexity.

Photo of nataku00
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a goblet. Beer pours a murky brown, hazy and cloudy, with a thin film of off white soapy head. Minimal lacing from the beer that slides right back into the glass. Some bubbles at the surface of the glass.

Nose is pretty dull, light grass and herbal notes, darker baked bread, and some lighter caramel malts.

Taste follows the nose, grass and herbal flavors on the tongue before the dark bread and caramel malts comes in middle of the tongue. Finish is medium, some residual sweetness and light herbal flavors.

Light body with good carbonation typical for a saison. Would have like a little more interesting flavors from this, but it was pretty average.

Photo of u2carew
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.
A) Pours with a big head. Hazy brick brown body. Sticky big bubble lacing on the drink down.
S) Pungent. Wet blanket with an eerily sweet caramel aroma.
T) Light citrus notes. Earthy. A slight sour. A distinct hop finish - leafy and "green".
M) Medium light body. Dry and tannin in the finish.
O) A very unique and quite tasty saison. I would definitely drink another one.

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
2.04/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750mL to tulip. Sampled in March 2011. $8.50 for the bottle.

A: Three fingers of light brown, long lasting head of creamy/frothy texture. The body is dark amber brown and so murky that it nearly opaque. There is a whole army of bubbles rising rapidly to the surface to maintain the head. As the drink goes down, a fair amount of straggly lace is left behind.

S: Caramel sweetness and lightly roasted grain with a light citrusy floral hop presence. Earthy, leafy, musty. Kind of a clash in aromas.

T: Decent on the front end but any and all flavor completely vanishes from mid palate on. Very dry on the back. The shortness of the flavor really comes as a detriment to this brew. Tastes like Perrier with lightly roasted malts. Also, a hard to describe sour note is mixed in.

M: Medium body, minerally texture (again, think sparkling water). Fizzy effervescence. Where the carbonation ends and the dryness begins is indistinguishable due to the absence of flavor.

D: I've heard someone say that, even as you're drinking one, a saison is never fully finished attenuating. Well let me tell you that this one is. Way over-attenuated with bracing, dominating dryness that, unfortunately doesn't match the flavor profile one bit.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of light fruit swirling around with a healthy dose of spice in it as well. Nice touches of coriander, lemon, hints of pepper coming through, with a touch of pears warming up to it as it came up to room temperature. The initial taste was peppery, with a rush of lemon following suit almost immediately. A wonderful sense of light fruit really just ran all over this one. I was quite impressed I have to admit. Smooth mouth feel was more the adequately carbonated and really just kept the profile popping throughout. An easy sipper, the moderate ABV lended itself well to a warm late summer evening

Photo of minterro
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bought from a liquor mart store in Denver, CO on Colorado ave.

Bottled on 08/26/13. Pour into a snifter. Paired with pizza.

A&S: Caramel tones with some mild yeasty funk. Unique but not as complex as I expected. Bright white head that doesn't hang around very long. Dark garnet-brown colored beer (much darker then I expected).

T&M: Very similar to the aroma (caramel and yeasty funk). The 'funk' consists of mostly spiciness. A touch of bubblegum as the bottom yeast is added. Only getting a little fruit in the finish. Pretty sharp carbonation bite, mediumish bodied.

Overall: nothing special, but still good and unique. Probably my least favorite I have tried from this company so far.

Photo of JamnesCameron
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to AleWatcher for this one. An "invitational" to the Blind BIF #4.

Poured into my Duvel tulip. Pours a deep amber with a huge light tan head of over three fingers. Head is very slow to drop, leaves some nice lacing.

Aromas of caramel malt, black pepper, spicy yeast.

Flavor of caramel malt, wheat, light tobacco, pepper, soft bitterness, licorise, light roasted malts, earthy and that distinctive belgian saison yeast. Light sourness. Finish is medium, with a lingering earthy bitterness and that light tobacco flavor.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, not watery. Mouthcoating roasty bitterness.

Very good drinkability, a little on the dark side for a farmhouse ale, but very complex with tons of little nuances in the flavor.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from tap at the Barley Oak in Mandeville, LA. Poured into snifter, a ruby brown pecan color. No head but a thin lacing exists. Look is flat and ordinary. Smells of slight sweet caramel malts and some slight mild hop. Meh. Taste is really nice. Sweet caramel malts but slightly bitter and ever so slight funk/earth. It has a slightly dry finish and bitter on the tip of the tongue. Really nice unique maltier saison. I like this brew. Its mild but flavorfull at the same time.

Photo of oline73
3.39/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this on-tap at Max's during Baltimore Beer Week. Poured into a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark amber with a finger of off white head and a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: Malty and bready but not very sweet. There is a very mild tart note.

Taste: Malty with a mild sourness in the background. Fruity and herbal notes with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I didn't think this was as remarkable as many of the other Stillwater offerings. It was pretty good and well balanced.

Photo of lowendfrequency
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a wineglass during a bottle share. A rich deep copper colored liquid with a formidable rocky tan head. Steady lacing shows this is well carbonated.

Aroma is spicy with a distinct breadiness. Peppercorns and clove stand out but there is some caramel and plum notes showing up. Some floral hops with a slight bubblegum in the background.

Flavor is a strong toffee, spice, toasted bread and fruit. The fruit character spans the full spectrum from citrus and banana to figs and plums. This beer fools the senses into thinking it's intensely malty but finishes dry, peppery and refreshing. The mouthfeel is seriously dry, almost desiccating but without being thin and really pulls this beer together.

I enjoyed this beer immensely. It's apparent that this is a well made product and was fermented with skill and know-how. I feel that reviews of this beer are skewed by comparing it to a traditional saison. To truly appreciate this beer, pre-conceptions of what a saison is, or can be, need to be thrown out. This is a fantastic, balanced, well made beer that is deserving of it's price.

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Autumnal from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
85 out of 100 based on 242 ratings.